Mabel Gray: Fine dining in a working-class town

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In a blue-collar neighborhood right outside of Detroit, James Rigato converted a 1,600-square-foot, cinder-block diner into Hazel Park’s first chef-driven restaurant. “I want the food and beverage and service to be serious, but that’s where it ends,” says the Mabel Gray chef-owner. “I want [guests] to be comfortable.” Since opening in September, Rigato says diners are thanking him for a new option in a town on the brink of a renaissance. “When there’s no restaurant like you, that’s the reason to do it,” he says. 


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